Rig Employment: 5 Reasons Why You Can't Get Oil Drilling Jobs

Published: 06th October 2008
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Did you hear that there are plenty of jobs in the oil fields, but can't seem to get rig employment yourself? Maybe you are making one of these 5 mistakes:

1. Rig employment in some locations is seasonal. For example, oil drilling jobs in northern Canada only exist in the winter months of November to March when the ground is frozen. They pay their workers hourly.There are no jobs the rest of the year. Ditto offshore oil jobs in certain parts of the North Sea, which is also seasonal.

2. Are you a foreigner? In many places with an extended oil boom, there is a serious shortage of housing. Even if you can find a place to stay, the rent is very expensive. For example, renting a one bedroom apartment in Calgary (Canada) can cost you $1500 and up per month. Not every oil company or drilling contractor offers staff accommodation, especially for families. If you don't have a place to stay, don't expect to get a job. It can be a good idea to find a place to stay before you start looking for a job.

3. Are you directly chasing the oil companies like Shell? You may have better luck with the drilling contractors. Nowadays, most oil companies do not operate their oil rigs themselves. Instead, they outsource these oil drilling jobs to smaller offshore drilling companies and oil service contractors. In the US, job seekers who drive around the oil rigs talking to the foremen (toolpushers/drillers) have found great success getting jobs.

4. Do you have the right background? Oil drilling jobs are very physically demanding. If you do not have any direct experience in the oil field, then the oil drilling companies prefer people who are proven to be tough and self-sufficient. More than a few ex-soldiers have successfully found rig employment once they left the army. Are you trying to get offshore oil jobs when you do not have any experience? Try to get oil rig jobs on land before you try to go offshore.

5. Do you have the right expectations? You may have to work night shifts. Many rigs have a two weeks on, two weeks off rotation. But some can be as extreme as 6 weeks on, 6 weeks off. You will have to work under extreme weather conditions. If you can't convince your interviewers that you can handle these difficulties, you will not get your job.

The price of oil remains high, and new oil drilling jobs appear every day. Be persistent, work smart and you will get your rig employment.

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